Several people have contacted me about posting more Mosaic boxes.
I figured this is a good place to start (sorry, no 24/192 this time)
From the Mosaic Records website:
The Thelonious Monk Quartet with Charlie Rouse lasted eleven years. October 31 and November 1, 1964 at the It Club in Los Angeles were just two more nights out of thousands for them, except when it comes to Monk, there were no ordinary nights.
Rouse in his sixth year with Monk had hit his stride, truly becoming Monk’s musical alter ego. Remarkably, drummer Ben Riley had joined the quartet at the beginning of 1964 and bassist Larry Gales had only logged in a month at the time of this taping; yet they already show the first signs of collective greatness on these evenings.
The band plays standards, many of Monk’s famous tunes, a few lesser known items like “Gallop’s Gallop” and “Blues Five Spot” and the recent compositions “Teo” and “Bright Mississippi.” Propelled by Gales and Riley, Monk and Rouse deliver amazing ten-minute excursions on such Monk classics as “Nutty,” “Rhythm-a-ning,” and “Blue Monk.”
Monk was at a particular high point pianistically during this gig; in fact, he went into a Los Angeles studio and recorded the album Solo Monk on the afternoons preceding and following the live taping. He is in full force throughout, but his playing is particularly superb on the standards “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and the previously unreleased “Sweet And Lovely.”.
Mosaic has returned to the original three-track tapes and mixed them down to beautiful sounding analog stereo masters, presenting the six sets they played that night as they happened.
More than 91 years after his birth, and over a quarter century since his passing, evidence that the once supremely iconoclastic Thelonious Monk may have been as central as anyone to the immortal music of both his country and his time continues to mount. In 1998, when the present music was initially released on compact disc, the memory of Monk’s visage on a (then 32-cent) first class postage stamp from two years earlier still lingered; a decade later, the posthumous award of a Pulitzer Prize in music was far less shocking. Monk’s time – as composer, bandleader and (perhaps most surprising of all) pianist – has indeed come, and shows no sign of passing.
With performance opportunities increasing, and the wider dissemination of his music that followed his signing with Columbia Records in 1962, Monk found himself able to mold an ensemble that could deliver the lean, infectious, inquisitive readings his compositions invited. Over the course of 1964, he seized that opportunity by assembling what would become his most venerable unit, the quartet that would take his message across America and around the world several times in the latter part of the decade. Charlie Rouse, at the midpoint in his 11 years of service with Monk, was hitting his stride, while Ben Riley and Larry Gales were more recent additions to Monk’s universe. It was during the It Club gig documented here that these four individuals showed the first signs of collective greatness. – Bob Blumenthal, liner notes
Thelonious Monk was frequently recorded in live settings during his tenure with Columbia, though the original two-LP set wasn’t released until 1982, and then only in edited form. This pair of 1964 dates at the It Club feature the pianist with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Larry Gales, and drummer Ben Riley, as usual, concentrating almost exclusively on his own works. The band is in terrific form, with Monk clearly stimulated by the tightness of his rhythm section and Rouse’s strong playing. A smoking brisk “Well, You Needn’t” and the particularly playful “‘Round Midnight” especially stand out.
The box has a few surprises too, with the leader calling for less frequently played compositions like “Teo” (a tribute to his producer, Teo Macero) and the obscure, challenging “Gallop’s Gallop,” originally recorded by Monk for Savoy on a date led by Gigi Gryce. Monk’s humor comes to the forefront in his interpretation of the standard “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” showing off his stride piano in the introduction, as well as his slapstick “Bright Mississippi” (a reworking of the chord changes to “Sweet Georgia Brown”). This brilliant box set gives the listener a ringside table to Thelonious Monk at the top of his game. – Ken Dryden, allmusic.com
The It Club, Los Angeles, October 31, 1964
Saturday – Set One
01 – Blue Monk
02 – Well, You Needn’t
03 – ‘Round Midnight
04 – Rhythm-A-Ning
05 – Episrophy (Theme)
Saturday – Set Two
06 – Blues Five Spot
07 – Bemsha Swing
08 – Straight, No Chaser
09 – Epistrophy (Theme)
Saturday – Set Three
10 – Evidence
11 – Sweet And Lovely
12 – Nutty
13 – Epistrophy (Theme)
The It Club, Los Angeles, November 1, 1964
Sunday – Set One
14 – Teo
15 – I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
16 – Epistrophy (Theme)
Sunday – Set Two
17 – Misterioso
18 – Gallop’s Gallop
19 – Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
20 – Epistrophy (Theme)
Sunday – Set Three
21 – Bright Mississippi
22 – Just You, Just Me
23 – All The Things You Are
24 – Epistrophy (Theme)
Limited to 5000 copies.
Original sessions produced by Teo Macero
Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna
Remixed from the original three-track tapes by Mark Wilder, Battery Studios.
Mastered by Kevin Gray at AcousTech
Thelonious Monk – piano
Charlie Rouse – tenor sax
Larry Gales – bass
Ben Riley – drums
The unidentified Columbia remote recording engineer who tapes these performances at the It Club, then LA’s hippest jazz club, did an excellent job. Throughout these performances though, the recording quality varies as a result of the musicians’ proximity to their microphones. This is particularly true in the case of Charlie Rouse. In mixing these performances, Mark Wilder has gone to considerable lengths to compensate for those off-mic moments.
All vinyl is cleaned on a VPI 16.5
Technics SL1200-MK5 (modified)
– Rega RB300 arm with RB700 wiring
– Michell Tecnoweight
– SoundSupports armboard
– Trans-Fi Audio Reso-Mat
Shure V15VxMR (with Jico stylus)
SimAudio Moon 110LP preamp
Native Instruments Audio4DJ USB interface
Processing: Sound Forge 10, ClickRepair (manual mode only)
Rather than presenting this material in 8 sides, or 4 albums, it is being presented in 6 sets, as it was originally performed.
There is 10 seconds of silence at the end of each set.
The tracks on the actual vinyl are presented as follows:
A1 – Blue Monk
A2 – Well, You Needn’t
B1 – ‘Round Midnight
B2 – Rhythm-A-Ning
B3 – Episrophy (Theme – Saturday Set One)
C1 – Blues Five Spot
C2 – Bemsha Swing
D1 – Straight, No Chaser
D2 – Epistrophy (Theme – Saturday Set Two)
D3 – Evidence
E1 – Sweet And Lovely
E2 – Nutty
E3 – Epistrophy (Theme – Saturday Set Three)
F1 – Teo
F2 – I’m Getting Sentimental Over You
F3 – Epistrophy (Theme – Sunday Set One)
G1 – Misterioso
G2 – Gallop’s Gallop
G3 – Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are
G4 – Epistrophy (Theme – Sunday Set Two)
H1 – Bright Mississippi
H2 – Just You, Just Me
H3 – All The Things You Are
H4 – Epistrophy (Theme – Sunday Set Three)
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